Friday, September 2, 2011

Mail from Camp Stevens

Before starting my vacation, I was "Bishop in Residence" at Camp Stevens. You may have seen my blog post on "snickerdoodles" from Camp.

I love being with the staff and campers, and helping out any way I can. One particular group this summer -- the Super-Sleuth-Swine really tugged at my heart strings. They were detectives solving a mystery -- surrounding a character with the initials BBW -- and their activities were all centered on getting clues to solve the mystery. My favorite "clue" that they found was on a laminated piece of paper wrapped around a brick at the bottom of the pool!

Every time I ran into the group or members of the group I'd ask them if they had any new "leads" or "clues" -- they were all so excited to share with me what they were doing and what they had learned. I had to leave camp early and couldn't find out how their "mystery" was solved. Then, I received a letter from them all to let me know what had happened! The text of the letter (pictured) is as follows:

Dear Diane,
Hey. How are you doing? We, the super-sleuth-swine have solved the case. We found BBW (Big Bad Wolf) decorating (what seemed like destroying) our meeting spot, and we realized that he is actually misunderstood. The BBW was actually MUW! (Mis Understood Wolf). We came across him TP-ing our meeting spot, which was meant to make it look nice. Anyway, thanks for helping us make fantabulous journals, for listening to our stories, and we think back about the awesome time we ad with you. Your friends, the Super-Sleuth-Swine.
PS -- Oink!
The Super-Sleuth-Swine are: Alex, LexyJo, Justice, Nikky (Chloe), Sophie, John, Meredith, Nigel, Nathan, Evan and Monkey (Maria).

If you haven't been to Camp Stevens lately -- please plan on bringing a group from your church up there. If you have children or grandchildren "camp age" -- plan now to send them next summer. Don't know about the camp? Here some important links:

Just Action Video on gardening at the camp:

Just Action Video on the Camping Program:

I wonder when I wander over to camp what I'll find next -- maybe the BBW!

A VERY Special Charm

I have been meaning to write about this most incredible day for months now, but time slipped away from me.

A few months ago I had the privilege of visiting St. Mark's in Downey. It was a wonderful service, with almost every child from the school (and their parents) present on a Sunday morning -- not all of them are Episcopalians, mind you! I spoke with many of the children personally. The church was PACKED!

One young girl stood next to me a good deal of the time -- she was very quiet, but attentive to everything that was going on. I asked her if she would like to stand next to me as I did the closing blessing -- she stood next to me, and I invited all the children (yes, really) to come up and help me do the blessing -- they did, and it was a Spirit-filled moment in the service.

After the service was over, there was a barbeque lunch. As is my custom, I went table to table to talk to the people as I ate my hamburger (I'm really good at eating while walking around). I came to this young girl's table, and she introduced me to her parents and grandparents. We had a lovely chat about the service (they are Roman Catholic). They had never seen a woman bishop before, and they had lots of questions for me.

Right as I was saying my last goodbyes, this young girl ran up to me, took this charm off her bracelet and handed it to me -- "I want you to remember me -- I'll always remember you" she said to me.

I will -- I promised. And I do.